When still a child, Christ abandoned his parents during a visit to the Temple in Jerusalem and stayed behind to teach among the scholars there. His mother’s words on finding Him again are written in Latin on the book she holds: “Son, why have you dealt with us like this?” The picture is signed and dated in Latin along the bottom edge of the frame: “Simone of Siena painted me in the year of Our Lord 1342”. Simone was among the greatest artists of 14th-century Italy, but at this date he was working at Avignon in France, where the papal court was in exile from Rome. This sumptuous picture was no doubt commissioned by a high-ranking patron, possibly the Pope himself. Its style has much in common with aristocratic French art of the same period, such as illuminated manuscripts and carved ivories.